Marsh’s Child Safeguarding Statement

To read/download this as a pdf, please click here:  Safeguarding Statement

Marsh’s Child Safeguarding Statement

Unchanged for three centuries, Marsh’s Library is a perfectly preserved library of the early Enlightenment, which houses more than 25,000 rare and fascinating books.  

The library opened in 1707.  Scholars still consult our holdings and the library is open to the public; children are particularly welcome to visit with their parents/carers.  School groups and out-of-school groups are actively encouraged to visit the library to learn about local history and to take part in educational, cultural and recreational activities.  

As a result of the above we are categorised as a Relevant Service (see below) under the Children First Act 2015 and must ensure that we fulfill our legal responsibility to safeguard children from any harm.

NB Schedule 1 of the Children First Act 2015 specifies the relevant services for the purposes of the Act. Marsh’s Library is therefore categorised as:  5. Any work or activity which consists of the provision of – (a) educational, research, training, cultural, recreational, leisure, social or physical activities to children.

 

Services we provide for children are as follows:
  1. Children visit the library in a tourist capacity under the supervision of their parents, carers or guardians. NB Children aged 16 and under cannot visit the library unaccompanied. There are a variety of activities which the children can take part in, such as:  writing with quills and ink, taking photographs in our selfie corner, hunting for our historical minifigures hidden in the library, drawing in our creative area in the Old Reading Room.  Many children visit for cultural festivals such as St. Patrick’s Festival and Bram Stoker Festival, when we provide guided tours and special events aimed at a young audience.
  2. Children aged 17-18 can visit the library unaccompanied. They can guide themselves at any time during the day or take part in the daily guided tour at 3pm. 
  3. School/Out-of-School groups/clubs visit the library to:
  4. take part in organised educational activities, i.e. Engineers Week, Science Week, and Maths Week.  Here we provide hour-long sessions to match themes set out by the event organisers.
    • learn about local history.  They can do this in a variety of ways, i.e. guided tours with short workshops afterwards or an historical minifigure hunt.  
    • fulfill a literary objective e.g. Fighting Words has organised creative writing sessions, We regularly have visiting authors & illustrators who provide workshops for groups of children for World Book Day.  
    • take part in competitions for various festivals or special days i.e. World Book Day.
    • Take part in practical creative workshops.
  5. Creative workshops provided for children during school holidays where parental consent is required.
  6. The Education & Outreach Officer may visit and collaborate with other institutions and schools to provide outreach activities.

In all these activities the safety and welfare of the children is our primary concern and all staff, volunteers and interns will strive to safeguard children in order for them to enjoy their experience in the library.

 

Risk of Harm- Assessment
Risk Identified 

(ranked highest to lowest)

Procedure in place to manage risk identified
1Risk of child being harmed by a member of the public visiting the library
  • At least one member of staff, intern or volunteer will supervise each gallery and the reading room whilst groups of children and other visitors are in attendance.
  • All staff must wear some form of Marsh’s identification to make sure visitors and children are aware of a staff member being present (branded fleece jacket in the winter/lanyard or t-shirt in the summer).
  • Use of cctv as added supervision.
2Risk of harm due to inadequate supervision of children while attending the library
  • Children aged 16 and under will be supervised by their own parents/carers or teachers/group leaders whilst visiting the library. 
  • There will be a member of the library staff, an intern or volunteer present in each of the three rooms of the library.
  • We have cctv in all areas of the library and this is clearly visible for all visitors and staff.
3Risk of child being harmed by a member of staff, volunteer or intern
  • Correctly followed recruitment procedures and Garda vetting prior to any contact with visiting children shall minimise any risk of an issue occurring with a member of staff, intern or volunteer. 
  • All staff, interns and volunteers are provided with a copy of the Child Safeguarding statement and guidelines.
  • All staff, interns and volunteers will receive annual in-house training on child safeguarding and our procedures.  
  • All members of staff, interns and volunteers are aware that cctv covers all areas of the building to which children have access, apart from the toilets.
  • Staff are encouraged to report issues or problems.
4Risk of child being harmed if first aid is administered.
  • The library has a health & safety policy and procedures for the administration of First Aid.
  • Two members of staff will be required if First Aid is to be administered.
  • Permission will be sought prior to administration of first aid, from the child’s teacher/leader or parent/carer.
  • Permission to administer first aid will be sought through consent forms prior to any workshops.
5Risk of child being harmed by another child in their group
  • Teachers/Leaders will be given Marsh’s anti-bullying framework to share with their children before they visit the library.  Teachers/Leaders and children will be asked whether they agree with the ‘rights’ listed and if they would like to add to them on arrival.
  • Expectations of behaviour and positive reinforcement of cooperation and teamwork will be given to the children when they are welcomed into the library.
  • Only if a child is in physical danger of being harmed by another child will a member of staff need to intervene to restrain a child, if the teacher/leader/parent/carer is not present.
6Risk of harm through inappropriate use of images via social media
  • Members of staff, interns and volunteers are not permitted to use mobile phones in the library.
  • Visitors are not permitted to take photographs in the library whilst school/out-of-school groups are present.  So the ‘Selfie Corner’ at the end of gallery two will be out of use during this time.
  • Teachers and leaders can take pictures of the children in the library if they have parental consent organised through their own school/organisation.
  • The only time the library may take images of children, will be during a workshop or if a child is visiting for a festival e.g. wearing costumes for Bram Stoker festival.  A parental consent form will be required in advance of a photograph being taken and parents/carers can state where the images can and cannot be used.  If an image has been used on social media, the photograph will be deleted from the library device from which it was taken.  
7Risk of harm due to inadequate code of conduct
  • All staff, volunteers and interns are provided with a Code of Conduct to adhere to.  They must sign a declaration to agree to follow the code strictly.
  • Reminders of the code will be given twice a year via email, verbally and the code will be displayed on the safeguarding noticeboard.
8Risk of harm from an outside provider coming into work with a group of children
  • All outside providers to the library will be required to be Garda vetted, if they are not vetted through their agency. 
  • Outside providers will be asked to declare and sign that they are Garda vetted, state through which organisation, and formally agree to adhere to Marsh’s Safeguarding guidelines prior to their visit.
  • The outside provider will have a member of staff with them at all times when the children are on site. More often than not, the children’s  teachers, leaders or teaching assistants will be present also. 

 

Procedures

Our Child Safeguarding Statement has been developed in line with the requirements under the Children First Act 2015, the Children First: National Guidance, and Tusla’s Child Safeguarding:  A Guide for Policy, Procedures and Practice.  In addition to the procedures listed in our risk assessment, the following procedures support our intention to safeguard children while they are availing of our service:

  • Procedure for the management of allegations of abuse or misconduct against workers/volunteers of a child availing of our service
  • Procedure for the safe recruitment and selection of workers and volunteers to work with children
  • Procedure for provision of and access to child safeguarding training and information, including the identification of the occurrence of harm
  • Procedure for the reporting of child protection or welfare concerns to Tusla
  • Procedure for maintaining a list of persons in the relevant service who are mandated persons
  • Procedure for appointing a relevant person

All procedures listed are available upon request to julie.burke@marshlibrary.ie

 

Implementation

We recognise that implementation is an ongoing process.  Our service is committed to the implementation of this Child Safeguarding Statement and the procedures that support our intention to keep children safe from harm while availing of our service.  This Child Safeguarding Statement was reviewed in March 2021, and will be reviewed in March 2023, or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which the statement refers.

Signed:

 

 

Dr. Jason McElligott, Director

jason.mcelligott@marshlibrary.ie

For queries, please contact:  

Julie Burke  julie.burke@marshlibrary.ie  (Relevant Person under the Children First Act 2015)

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